WorkPod: Building #FutureOfWork at #NASA

In this session, Jane Datta, chief human capital officer at NASA, talks about her experience in managing employee well-being in a large, diverse workforce such as in NASA. Many of her points focus on the Pandemic year and how it has made organizations revisit the strategies and policies that enable a more employee centric environment.

Podcast Link:

Jane Datta is NASA’s chief human capital officer and lead people champion. She wholly embraces that “we are people leaders in the people business” which guides her oversight of NASA’s human capital policies, practices, and operations. Ms. Datta is responsible for building the quality and depth of talent necessary for supporting the agency’s mission, improving capabilities for delivering out-of-this-world human resources services, and positively shaping NASA’s culture to maintain high levels of employee engagement and commitment.

0:53 Jane’s journey.
4:06 A typical day for an executive at NASA.
6:02 Jane’s transition from a career consultant to a chief human capital officer.
10:28 Running a diverse workforce in a large organization like NASA.
13:48 Keeping the workforce aligned with the larger version.
16:52 NASA’s strategy for it’s employees during the Pandemic.
20:28 Balancing the wellbeing of employees and ensuring business continuity during the pandemic.
27:07:00 Surprises and learnings in managing the wellbeing of a workforce during the pandemic.
30:33:00 Handling employee burnout.
37:12:00 Gauging the mental and emotional state of employees and finding a way to alleviating their pain.
41:27:00 Workforce trends that are here to stay.
47:55:00 Next breakthrough tool for collaboration in the new age of employee engagement.
52:21:00 NASA’s best practices that can be replicated in other organizations.
55:18:00 Rapid fire.
58:00:00 Jane’s success mantra.
1:00:58 Jane’s advice to her sixteen year old self.
1:03:23 Jane’s favorite reads.
1:04:54 Closing remarks.

Questions Addressed:
Segment 1: Lead-in

  1. Starter: Give your starter pitch 1 point that you wish as a central theme.
  2. Vishal briefly introduce guest

Segment 2: State of organizations

  1. What it means to be a people’s leader for NASA?
  2. NASA is a hyper collaborative organization, how do you lead the people aspect of the agency?
  3. How has NASA managed to still accomplish so much during the pandemic?
  4. How has work evolved for NASA during the pandemic times?
  5. What did the shift to mandatory telework look like for NASA? What needed to be done and how did you do it?
  6. What have been some of the lessons you’ve learned over the past 18 months in terms of workforce productivity, recruiting and hiring, training and development, etc.?
  7. What would other organization learn from NASA’s progress and wonderful people it is lead by?
  8. What has been some of your surprises as you lead NASA’s people aspect?
  9. Looking toward the future, is NASA planning to have everyone return to on site work when it’s safe to do so or will you be adopting a hybrid model? Or a perhaps a different model?
  10. How has technology, and your use of technology, evolved over the past 18 months and how will it continue to evolve to enable your work and missions?
  11. How is one thing you wish to improve in NASA?

Segment 3: Rapid Fire [Say what comes to your mind quickly]
14 a. #FutureOfWork
14 b. #Technology
14 c. #Leadership
14 d. #RemoteWork
14 e. #Equity
14 f. #Diversity
14 g. #Legislature
14 h. #JobsOfFuture
14 i. #FutureOfLearning
14 j. #Something exciting
14 k. #Things that keep you up at night?

Segment 4: Your personal journey

  1. What are 1-3 best practices that you think are the key to success in your journey?
  2. Do you have any favorite read?
  3. As a closing remark, what would you like to tell our audience?

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